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tv   Democracy Now  LINKTV  October 4, 2019 4:00pm-5:01pm PDT

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10/04/19 10/04/19 [captioning made possible by democracy now!] amy: from san francisco, this is democracy now! shouldrump: they investigate the bidens. how does a company that is newly formed, and, by the way, likewise, china just started investigation into the bidens. what happened in china is just about as bad as what happened with ukraine.
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amy: is the democrats pushed ahead with their impeachment investigation, president trump called openly for the leaders of ukraine and china to investigate his political rival joe biden and his son hunter. trump is just the fourth u.s. president to face a formal impeachment inquiry, joining andrew johnson, richard nixon, and bill clinton. today we look back at the watergate scandal, which led to nixon's resignation in 1974. it's the focus of the documentary "watergate -- or: how we learned to stop an out of control president." >> londark nht for arica is abo t to en arresteda been with breakg into the headquarters of the demratic nationalommittee >> part of vast campaign t undeinine thelececti itself. cooks how high up in the white hoe e does ago and ithe presidt himselinvolved >> i havnever obstructed juste.e.
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ople havto know wheer or not thei psident ia crook. am not a cok. y: we spd the e ur with charles ferguson, the director of the documentary "watergate." all that and more, coming up. welcome to democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president donald trump called openlyly thursday for the leleas of ukraiaine and chihina to investigate trump's campaign rival joe biden and his son hunter for corruption. trump's explicit remarks came as leaders of the democratic-led house pushed ahead rapidly with their impeachment inquiry, which is centered around trump's july 25 phone call with ukrainian president volodymyr zelensky. shouting to reporters over the roar of the presidential helicopter from the white house lawn, trump responded to a question about what he hoped to gain when he asked zelensky to investigate the bidens during that call. pres. trump: well i would think
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that if they're honest about it, they would start a major investigation into the bidens. it is a very simple answer. they should investigate the bidens because how does the company that is newly formed -- if you -- by the way, likewise, china should start an investigation into the bidens because what happened in china is just about as bad as what happened with ukraine. amy: trump's comments came as cnn reported president trump spoke to chinese leader xi jinping about joe biden and another 2020 campaign rival, senator elizabeth warren, during a phone call in june. a record of that conversation was reportedly moved to the same highly secured compuputer server used to store trump's july conversation with ukraine's president. cnn also reports trump promised president xi he'd remain silent about hong kong authorities'
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crackdown on pro-democracy protests during the u.s.-china trade talks. trump's appeal to foreign leaders to investigate the bidens appears to be a direct violation of campaign finance law. federal elections commission chair ellen weintraub retweeted a statement she wrote last june warning -- "it is illegal for any person to solicit, accept, or receive anything of value from a foreign national in connection with a u.s. election. this is not a novel concept." trump may be getting what he wants -- "the wall street journal" is reporting ukraine's top prosecutor i is reviewiningt investigations into a gas company linked t to joe biden's son and may reopen investigations amid pressure from president trump. on capitol hill, president trump's former special envoy for ukraine, kurt volker, gave a nine-hour deposition to the house impeachment investigators behind closed doors thursday.
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after his deposition, lawmakers released damning messages shared between volker and other state department officials, making --ar the u.s. would only in one message sent by volker ro an aide to president zelensky, "heard from white house -- assuming president z convinces trump he will investigate 'get to the bottom of what happened' in 2016, we will nail down date for visit to washington." in another text message, the top implement to ukraine expresses concern the white house hasn't frozen military aid to ukraine, writing -- "i think it's crazy to withhold security assistance for help with a political campaign." "the washington post" reports an internal revenue service employee filed a whistleblower complaint reporting that a
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treasury department political appointee tried to improperly interfere with the tax audits for president trump or vice president mike pence. the complaint comes as trump continues to resist lawmakers' efforts to force him to turn over tax records as part of a congressional investigation into whether the president violated the constitution's anti-corruption provisions, known as the emoluments clauses. meanwhile, house investigators are looking into reports that a trade association and a foreign government booked a large number of rooms at president trump's hotels but used only a fraction of them. congressmember gerry connolly, who sits on the house oversight committee, told politico, "it's an obvious attempt to curry favor with," adding, "now we're looking at near raw bribery." the department of homeland security said wednesday it will soon begin collecting dna samples from the hundreds of thousands of migrants arrested each year by immigration authorities. the data would be stored in the
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fbi's combined dna index system, a massive national criminal database accessible to state and federal law enforcement agencies. among those who would have their dna taken and sequenced under the trump administration plan are children and asylum-seekers who have broken no u.s. laws. attorney vera eidelman of the american civil liberties union condemned the plan, writing -- "this kind of mass collection alters the purpose of dna collection from one of criminal investigation to population surveillance, which is contrary to our basic notions of freedom and autonomy." in iraq, the death toll after three days of anti-government protests has risen to 44 people as police and soldiers continue to open fire on thousands of demonstrators who are defying government-imposed curfews. the largest number of casualties have occurred in the city of nasiriyah, where dozens of people have been shot dead. more of the deaths occurred in baghdad, when police opened fire with tear gas and live bullets on protesters in tahrir square.
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cooks we are iraqis we are demanding our rights. what have you done to us? you have pushed us backwards. amy: iraqi prime minister adil abdul-mahdi addressed the nation earlier today, calling protesters' demands legitimate but ordering them to disperse. honduran president juan orlando hernandez is lashing out at federal prosecutors in the united states who've brought weapons and drug trafficking charges against his brother. on wednesday, a u.s. prosecutor told a federal court in brooklyn the brother, tony hernandez, personally accepted a million dollar bribe meant for president hernandez from the notorious mexican drug lord known as " "el chapo.o." tony hernandez is accused of trafficking tons of cocaine through honduras bound for the u.s. and of providing heavily armed security for drug shipments. is a staunchnandez
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ally of president trump. at a n news cononference on thursday, he denied reports he's profited from narcotrafficking and plededged contininued suppot for the trtrump administration. >> we will not stop working to keep on making honduras a land that is hostile t toward drug traffickckers, toward gangs. this has been recognized by thee united statates from their president, their vice president, the state depapartment, the dea, and homeland security over all of these years that i have been president. amy: honduras has become one of the most violent countries in the world because of the devastating drug war and a political crisis that stems in part from a u.s.-backed 2009 coup that ousted the democratically-elected president manuel zelaya. ecuador's president has declared a national emergency as protests rage nationwide over his decision to end diesel and gasoline subsidies. president lenin moreno's austerity measures met a key demandnd of the international monetary fund as part of $4.2 billion deal agreed to in
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february. on thursday, protesters spilled into the streets of quito and other cities as the cost of energy rose dramatically. police fired tear gas to clear protesters who set up barricades. one of the demonstrators, julio cesar, said president moreno and other elitites should pay to maintain fuel subsidies. >> they should be paying for these measures, for this economic crisis. the people are mired i in miser. are peopleare hungry who fight on. amy: on thursday, transit unions declared a nationwide strike to protest the fuel price hikes, ending bus routes, making taxis unavailable, and closing roads across ecuador. peruvian president martin vizcarra swore in a new cabinet on thursday as a challenge to his leadership by right-wing opponents failed. on monday, vizcarra invoked a coconstitutionalal provisionon o dissolve congress and call for new parliamentary elections. congress responded by suspending vizcarra as president and declaring his vice president
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to be peru's interim president. but that challenge fizzled after no f foreign governments recognized vice president araoz, who resigned just hours after being sworn in. in brazil, a newly surfaced photo shows far-right president jair bolsonaro smiling and posing with a man who's been arrested in connection with the murder of human rights activist and rio city councilmember marielle franco. josinaldo lucas freitas was arrerested thursday and charged with disposing o of the guns usd in the march 2018 asassassinati. it's the second known photograph of bolsonaro t taken with a suspect inin franco's murder. another photo circulated in the brazilian press shows bolsonaro in a friendly embrace with a former police officer who's been charged with driving the car used in the shooting. marielle franco, who was black and a vocal member of the lgbt -- lgbtq community, was a longtime critic of brazil's police, who have been linked to thousands of killings and incidents of brutality in rio's impoverished favela
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neighborhoods. in las vegas, nevada, mgm resorts international has agreed to an $800 million settlement with morore than 4000 survrvivof the 2017 massacre outside the mandalayay bay casino. ththe settttlement was announced after survivors joined friends and families of those killed at a commemoration tuesday marking the second anniversary of the massacre. it was october 1, , 2017 when a lone gunman named stephen paddock used semiautomatic rifles altered with bump stocks to open fire from the resort's 32nd floor on a country music festival below, killing 58 people and wounding 851 others. it remains the worst mass shooting in modern u.s. history. in maryland, a white nationalist coast guard lieutenant pleaded guilty thursday to federal weapons and drugs charges after investigators uncovered his plot to kill high-profile liberal figures, including democratic lawmakers, media personalities and judges. 50-year-old christopher hasson was arrested with a stockpile of
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15 guns and more than 1000 rounds of ammunition after he used his work computer at the coast guard to read the manifestos of mass killers and to research sniper attacks. federal prosecutors did not file terrorism charges against hasson. he faces up to 31 years in prison at a january sentencing hearing. bernie sanders' campaign says ththe vermont senator r and 2020 presidential candidate is recovering well from surgery to clear a blocked artery. on tuesday night, sanders was hospitalized after he complained of chest pain at a campaign event in las vegas. jane sanders said her husband will spend the weekend recuperating at their home in burlington, vermont, and is looking forward to the october 15 debate when 12 democratic candidates will square off in cocolumbus, ohio. and two iowa-based environmental charged inave been trying to delay the $3.8 billion
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dakota access pipeline. jessica reznicek and ruby montoya. speaking on democracy y now! in 2017, jessica reznicek denied her actions were violent. >> i think the oil being taken theof the ground, infrastructure which supports it, this is violent. mechanisms and these the industry and corporate power and government power have all colluded together to create -- this is destructive and violent and it needs to be stopped. amy: and those are some of the headlines. this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. president donald trump called openly thursday for the leaders of ukraine and china to investigate trump's campaign
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rival joe biden and biden's son hunter for corruption. trump's explicit remarks during a press conference came as leadaders of the hououse pushed ahead rapidly with their impeachment investigation. pres. trump: they should investigate the bidens because how does the company that is newly formed -- all of these companies -- either way, likewise, china should start an investigation into the bidens because what happened in china is just about as bad as what happened with ukraine. amy: president trump pushed back again thursday night when he tweeted he has the "absolute right" to recruit foreign countries to investigate corruption. in the president may be getting what he wants. "the wall street journal close group or ukraine's top prosecutor is reviewing past investigations into a gas company link to joe biden sent, reopen investigations amidst pressure from president trump. this comes as cnn reports
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president trump discussed the presidenential prospects of both biden and senator elizabeth warren during a phone call with chinese president xi jinping on june 18 and said he would keep quiet on hong kong proteststs during trade talks. investigations have found no evidence of wrongdoing by the bidens, but "the wall street journal" reports ukraine top prosecutor is now reviewing past investigations. on thursday, u.s. special envoy for ukraine kurt volker became the first official testified in -- testifying in the impeachment inquiry. volker resigned just one day after the release of the whistltleblower's report detailg trump's push for ukraine to look into the bidens. president trump is just the fourth u.s. president to face a formal impeachment inquiry, joining andrew johnson, richard nixon, and all clinton. well, today we look at back at the watergate scandal, which led to nixon's resignation in 1974. the scandal is the focus of a documentary titled "watergate -- or: how we learned to stop an out of control president." it chronicles the dramatic events surrounding the break-in
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at the democratic national committee headquarters at the watergate office complex in 197272, which precipipitated n's eventual resignatition twoears later r under thre o of impeachment. this is the film's trler. >> long dark night for amicica is about to end. >> five people have bee arrested andhahargedithh breaking into the headquteters of the docraratinationon committee. >> ts breaki was parof a st campan to undermine the eltition itself. >> how high up in thwhwhite hohousdoes it go and is the present t hielf invoed? >> i have never obstructed stice. people have t t to know whether e e present t is crockck well, i'm not a crook. they want war, iilill gi thehem momore. > t predent sti in offi can indictein the cminal courts ifar fromettled. >> theonstitutn says a personan be impeached for treason, bribery, or other hhh
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imeses a misismeanors. it could threan n the bertrtie ofofhe american people. >> president nixon has discharged watergate spealal osececut. >> the fbi, sealed off the specl prosecoror's o offe. one think that a democracyy maybe ththis would not happen.n. presidency,of the you've got everything on the line. amy: that is the trailer to the film "watergate -- or: how we learned to stop an out of control president." the film is directed by charles ferguson, who won academy award for his documentary "inside job." i started by asking fergusoson f he had begun making the film before or after donald trump was elected president. elected.efore he was i originally wanted to make something of principally historical value, in part to show younger people who weren't around when watergate occurred what it was like.
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but as even progressed, he became clear i had to make a quite different film that certainly showed what watergate was like. but also showed how the system works and doesn't work when there is a true constitutional crisis in the united states. amy: so there are many people who watch or listen to this show in this country who were born long after richard nixon. this is ancient history for them. can you start off by explaining what the watergate scandal was and why, in particular, you got interested in this? began withe scandal the discovery and arrest of five men in business suits carrying a great deal of cash and a lot of electronics in the headquarters of the democratic national committee on june 17, 1972. but the investigation initially of that burglary and bugging operation turned into an
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investigation both by law enforcement and very importantly , crimejournalists reporters come at "the washington post"t" turn into investigatation of what became what was unveiled to be a far wider effort on the part of the nixon administration to undermine the democratic party annexes democratic opponent's in the 1972 election. amy: let's talk about this. that 1972 election, he won by a landslide. this was by no means a squeaker. >> absolutely true. was by no means a squeaker. >> absolutely true. most p people agree that in fact he did not have to do any of this in order to win. but t he did i it anyway.. was an angry, troubled man. he saw enemies everywhere, including wherere they did not reallyly exist.
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amy: so explain what the watergate break-in was. they're break-in had been ordered and authorized by the former attorney general of the united states john mitchell, who had resigned as attorney general in order to manage nixon's reelection campaign. amy: called? >> very ironic name, the committee to reelect the president- creep. one could not make that up. chief.so he is creep's >> yes. he and several other high-level people at the committetee to reelect the president acting under constant pressure from nixon and his chief aids started a wide-ranging campaign to investigate and undermine the democrats. in fact, there were multiple operations, some managed through the white house, some managed by
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personal friends of nixon, some managed by the reelection campaign, to do many different things. there e were infiltrtrators whoe secretly reporting on what democratic candidates were doing. nixon's strongest potential rival in the election was edward muskie. his driver was secretly on the payroll of the nixon campaign and copied and reported documents, records, plans, etc. there were dozens of such operations. dozens. many of which were eventually revealed after the burglarars we caught in june of 1972. amy: how does this relate to the bay of pigs? primarilyglars were cuban-americans who had been formered by a couple of
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cia agents who had worked with them in regard to the bay of pigs and other operations against castro's cuba. in the burglars, in fact, were extremely honorable, patriotic men who thought they were doing something for their country and for their president. exactlyd not understand why they h had b been ordered to these things. amy: charles ferguson, director of the documentary "watergate -- or: how we learned to stop an out of control president." back with more in a minute. ♪ [music break]
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amy: this is democracy now!, democracynow.org, the war and peace report. i'm amy goodman. as president trump becomes just the fourth u.s. president to face an impeachment inquiry, we continue our interview with academy award winning filmmaker charles ferguson about his documentary "watergate -- or: how we learned to stop an out of control president." i asked charles ferguson about how nixon's former chief of staff, bob haldeman, and nixon's former domestic adadviser, john ehrlichman, ended up testifying before the senate watergate committee. of 1973,ng i in m march the burglars come under pressure
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from a federal judge, started to talk. and when they started to talk, the senate formed a special committee to investigate the watergate affair. and it held public hearings starting in may of 1973, which were televised live by all three networks which completely transfixed the united states. testifyose forced to were nixon's former chief of staff and former domestic policy advisor who continued to deny all involvement. and when they testified, there wasn't yet definitive evidence to convict them, but it wawas alreadyy clear a lot of very unsavory things had occurred. and you are about to see their cross-examination. amy: this is john ehrlichman and bob haldeman appearing befor the senate watgate committee. >> the committee forcethem to testy after dean. >> l'' be clear.
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i dd not cover up anhihing t do wh wawateate. they denieeverythi andnd the was not yet any defitivee evidencegainstst them,ut they got nailed away. so there came aimime wh youou were administering a inveigative unit. >> yes. in a literal sense, thatss ue.. >> a literal sense? not an actual sense? >> well, here i am deing with therofessor. >> 'm nodealing with youi'i' ju trying if you s it is aual, it actu. >> as sn as howd baker realiz much of what was bei andboutut nixon was tru based in fact, he immediately back off and became probab the st prominent questioner of witnesses. >> when did you first learn of the eak-k-in >> on the day following the break-in when i receeded thi teleonee calloward dusk, late in t a afteron.. >> did you talk tohehe predentnt
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on thehe7?7? nothat i can recall. >> did you talk tor.r. hdeman on the 17? >> i think the followi d day. > re-concerned about ?? >> not partilarly. >> if someone even remolyly on mymy sff werercharged with breakingnto the democratic national headquarters or someon even associad d with the newspaper lulumn, woululd dedermined to find out if that happen.. now, was this erro of urgency thwhwhite use e onour papa or ldemanan's part or dean's part it sndnds like a routinetataff opatioion,utut thiwasn't a routine stafoperatio cooks .1, he was not on my staff. at tt is bedede the point. >> assembly yourueuestiong w was realal for the first time a very strong and htitile questioning of and administration witness. is ttt a fair statement? >> d don't t think it is. if it is, it is an unconsciou situioion because i am trying
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todaasas i was trying when t seri b begano trtreaeveryoyo the same anto pursue the aster as dispassiotely very passiatate circumsnces will pmimit. >> do yo believe spinning political campaign fun t to pa fothe dedense of criminal defendants could embarrass the presidt?t? >> i d't know. i i don'tt know. it depends on the circumanances and the situation, ihihink. >> what about the circutatances and the tutuatioabouout wateteate? >> i don't kn t that can n ma a a dgment othat. >> i wouldike to submit toouou document. charlotte demotrtratio. one, the most rentnt int image that ibeen received -- intellenence tt hahas en we will havehat demotrators charlot tomoow. th numr is runng betwe 10 t thedvancemes get reactionsetween 1 and 2.
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any wilbebe violent, with underlininof viole.. ey will have seen signs, unrlining s scene annext t the word "obscene," peililed iwriting, which to me anyoyou wi havave to confirm thisseems toe the se wring beloyour initialg, apars to appear sayi "good." writing?our >> i believe it is, yes, sir. >> as s been iicated by the handles. it will not only be directed ward the preside, , but so tord billy graham -- underlining also "tard billy graham" where you penceded in "great." my question specificlyly reles toxactctly what entelechy it is in t whihite house that goes ahead d indicates good with thword vioncnce is mentioned
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but obscenity is mentioned, which violence and which obscenity is to be directed against the president of the united states? how anyway can that be good? to: so you're just listening john ehrlichman and bob haldeman being questioned by the connecticut republican senator, the senatesam dash, committee counsel, and howard baker, the ranking republican on the senate watergate committeee. charles ferguson, talk about the significance of these men. we live in such a polarized time. here we are talking about the republicans, the president's party, taking the most active role here -- well, sam ervin was the head and he was certainly fierce. but joining with the democrats. howard baker was not always like that. >> no, howard baker started out at the beginning of the watergate scandal in fact as
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basically a mold for president nixon and would secretly go to the white house and report on what the senate committee was doing. but as evidence came out that in fact nixon had been involved in all of this, very deeply involved in it, baker began to change. lowell weick or was quite different. he was extremely aggressive from the very beginning. in fact, while he was on the senate watergate committee, conducted his own separate investigation that revealed a number of additional things that the committee had not previously known. there was, without question, a degree of bipartisanship in that effort that we certainly don't see these days. amy: and this must have been a very unusual experience for you as you started this film before donald trump was elected. and as you are moving through it , i meaean, all of the players e coming forward, like in the second clip we want t to play, which is former watergate
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special prosecutor's george frampton and joe wind banks discussing the security of the evidence files. we're seeing joe wine banksks on tv all the time now talking about president trump. >> yes. there are so many parallels between what happened then and what is happening now. we're now very concerned about the security of not only the molar investigation but of the documents and evidence he has already assembled. we don't know what is going to happen to them. amy: what were these evidence files they talking about? >> these were files a memoranda date had that pertain to the potential impeachment and/or prosecution president nixon. as pressure on the special prosecutor mounted, archibald cox with a harvard professor who had been appointed to be the special prosecutor come as pressure on him mounted from the nixon white house, the junior prosecutors under him became extremely concerned about what might happen to their evidence.
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in fact, those concerns were fully justified when cox was fired by president nixon. nixon also ordered the fbi to occupy his offices and sees those records. amy: first, let's go to the former watergate prosecutor's george frame and jill weinbanks. >> is nixon continueded to rest, it w wasotally unclear how this was going to play out. we knew a g storm was coming. wewe jusdid d noknow f fm what direction or how bad it s going to b >> when we were anning wtt s going to haen, who is gogg to serve a subpoena on the white ususe? how w arwe goioi to enfoe it? who g goingo gogo io get t e tapes? what if the president reseses? we thought, well, maybe we shou t take me o of e keyy documents and brinththem tourr homes. >> i had done a prosutution memo about alofof thevidence that we had autut presidentnt nixon.
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i took a copy of that and put it in my grandmother's basement. >> meanwhile, the special prosecutors have been playing another chess game. amy: what is the other chess game? and yet another parallel between then and now, nixon's former counsel john dean, his former hader, had turned and expressed a willingness to testify about what he had known. he had been managing the cover-up of the watergate scandal for nixon. in return, he demanded immunity. archibald cox,x, special prosecutor, did not want to give him complete immunity because he had been so centrally involved in criminal activity. in the bargaining went on for six months. amy: so let's turn to william ruckelshaus and pat buchanan describing the battle between nixon and special prosecutor archibald cox during the days
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leading up to the saturday night massacre. >> the president was awfully desperate to get these tapapes back under his control and not have them released. he was trying to think of every way to do it. we w we spendingng practically e entitire day trying to figiguret what to do next. >> sources indicicated late tody thatoo far all efforts to reach a compromise on the tapes ca hahafailed. but torney geral ellt riardson w describ as ill tryi. >> i think elliot watrying very hard to work out a coromise because he thought that was his responsility as attorneyeneral. me and said, we're gog to give these smaries and we a going ttell cox that hisis goio have to accept the. d if he doesn't,ell, he can do what heants to but if he will firerichardson
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m.m. saidid tee woror, "elliott abor"" he said, y.. said, tt t casego a ahe. on october frayay 19,heyy orderere coxox t stop pursuing e tapes. he refused and aouounced preress confnfence for the next mornin >>anybody have the number? jim ylyle. i have a long stamement pt ofof are you ready? m my judgments, the presiden is refing to comyith the courtecrees. >>riday nig, the prident had sentetter to richardson telling m to fir cox. chardsonalled c andead e letteroim over e phone but said he was not going to issue the order because he did not think it was appropriate. and finally on saturday morning, cox held his press conference for amy: so it is saturday,
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october 20, 1973 when u.s. president richard nixon orders attorney general elliot richardson to fire independent special prosecutor archibald cox . lay out what happens. >> richardson refused and resigned instead. his chief of had staff call the deputy attorney general -- who we just saw, elliot richardson -- pardon me, andgh ruckelshaus -- ordered him, now the acting attorney general, to fire cox. ruckelshaus refused. depending on who you believe in what time of day it is, he either resigned or was immediately fired. he wasas proud of both. bork on finally, robert the number three the justice department, agreed to fire cox i
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nixon's orders. amy: your remarkable film "watergate" takes us through the step-by-step. let's go back to william ruckelshaus remembering how nixon and haig called him about the firing of archibald cox and how real power in washington can be wielded full stock >> richardson got a call from the white house and said the president wanted to see him. he went to the white house and the president insisted he fire cox and he would not do it. my assistant came up and said, the president once you on the phone. it was pretty clear what he wanted. when i got thehere, it wasas actually haig on the phone, not the president. youd theresidentants to firarchibal cox. i saidwell, i ought abtt ani can't do it. i thk it is ndamentay wron cox s de nothinwrong expt carryut his responsilities. i ju can't bringyself to firen who h done wh he is hired to do by the psisident
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ig said, wl, your commanr-in-chi is ordeng yoto fire x. on, know he is theommandern-chief. whats going to do, blow meut of my house byon'do the right ining? home waiting furtr r devepmpments because it is satdaday afternoon. i'm tang the eningng o. thing happens in official wainington on saturday night >> what is the general reaction toto theevelelopnt todod? there will be an announcemen latetotoday. it has to do with the attorney neneral? > imight,t,ut you will have to g i it fr thehem. >> thank you, bill. >> although the puputy aorneney genenel did not have much to s to reporters at th m momen itt was evidence somhing bigas about to happen in washitoton toninigh > look, i was 30 yes old.
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was -- i thought i w so sophistiteted cong from w yoyo and hing been a fededal prosecutor for fivears. i did no k kw s sat about real power and how i might be exercised. >> at 8:20 p.m. saturday evening, all normal television broadcasts were suddenly interrupted. amy: that is a clip from "watergate." what was the special report, charles ferguson? >> the special report was that president nixon had ordered richardson, the attorney general, to fire cox and richardson resigned instead. then deputy attorney general william ruckelshaus was ordered to fire cox and he refused and he was fired. and then finally come archibald cox himself was fired by richard nixon. normalwoworks interrupted
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programming to announce this and the people announcing it come often from the white house lawn, were visibly shaken. it was clear that they were terrrribly distraught by what i just happen come as was the whole country. amy: and that last voice we heard, explain who he was and what happened to him. -- one ofthe deputy the deputy special prosecutors working under archibald cox and nixon, in an oversight, neglected to fire e cox's staff, just fired cox so the staff remain. five days later after enonormous political and popular resistance , nixon was forced to appoint a replacement special prosecutor and been bitten industry stayed in his job. amy: and he stayed in his job at a special prosecutor was appointed. >> leon jaworski was the replacement special prosecutor. amy: so let's turn to yet
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another clip from "watergate." the film itself is over four hours. health problem with that is you almost can't breathe for the four hours. it is so filled with suspense. they described the tension for the special prosecutor office after the saturday night massacre. this is accompanied by archival footage. explain who henry ruth and james doyle are who speak to the press immediately after the announcement. explain that. >> henry ruth was another deputy special prosecutor and jim doyle 's publicbald cox spokesman. >> raw force has into law. it was the csest thi to a up'et that our country ev experienced. >> i thought it was possible that some of us uld be ararrest.
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there prident had mounted a coup whatappens ia a coup you arst people, right >> locked out of their o offices, the procucutorsentt upstairso the e brary. >> a connuum the investigation? > i suppose the human emotios take over in this kind of occasion does on think that in a democracy maybehihis wod nonot happen. nixon fired archibald .ox, he misjudged th reactn >> talked abt what wwewere people, do o anome very few, actually, saidwe oughght resign. >> and ahie said, no, you should not. if you havnot been fired, you shouldo o everhing youan t to pursue this case. >> the presintnt had n fired us, firiredrchihie.
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nobody knew of our existence, relyly. we w wer staff. in an ersight,ixon had forgotn to fire us and we are here. l's make him fe e as. >> the wte house announced lastight youere e abished.d. would d u begin to t word you we n not? > well, the white house announced w were olisishe but if they annoceced the sky is green and yololook uandd t sk is blue, a couple weeks ag i got word from t c civil seservic that i was aermanent empleeee of eovernment and that iadad rights. we're going to y likehell. we are here and we are going to try. we are criminal prosecution force. we are reasonably there has been some serious crime and we want to prosecute it. amy: that is jim doyle, stella spokesperson, had not yet been fired -- had not been fired for the special prosecutor's office, who would become leon jaworski. >> yes.
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, forceds under pressure to appoint a replacement special prosecutor five days later. but during that five days, we really did not know what the role was going to be like. he was in a normally, -- enormously tense time. the closest thing the united states has ever experienced to a coup.. amy: elaboborate on thahat. >> nixon had fired the attorney general, the deputy attotorney general, a and the special prosececutor. he ordered the fbi to occupy spspecial prosecutorors officesd he wasas risting subpoenas that ha b been issued for the secret tapes that he ha made -- which eveventuly p prod hissuiltlt. and it was really ve unclear thathehe rulof law would triumph. it was iththe wa of the saturday night massacre that for the rstt time people in
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ngress and many peopople throughout the nation and the media started calling for nixoxon's impeachment. amy: charles ferguson, the director of the documentary "watergate -- or: how we learned to stop an out of control president." we will be back with him in 30 seconds. ♪ [music break] amy:y: this is democracy now!, i'm amy goodman. we continue we continue now with our look back at the watergate scandal, which led to the resignation of richard nixon in 1974. we are speaking to charles ferguson, the director of the documentary "watergate -- or: how we learned to stop an out of control president."
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let's turn to another excerpt from the film. this clip features several members of the house judiciary committee which eventually voted to submit three articles of impeachment to the full house. it begins with the venerable texas congresswoman barbara jordan. >> earlier today, we heard the beginning of the preamble to the coconstition of e ununit states. "we the people." it is very eloent getting. but when that document was completed on the 1h of september in 1787, i wanot includedn that " the people." i felt somehow for many arars at georg washington and exexande hamilton just left me out by mistake. but througththe process of endmento interprpration, a court decision, i h he finall beenncluded in "we, ee ople." inquisitor and
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hypeolole wouldot be fictional and uld d no overstate the psalm isis i fl ririgh now. my faithn the constitution is whol complet i it is total. and i'm not ining to sit here and ben n idol spectator to the demolition, theubversio the .eruction of eonstitutn >> it isn the e esidency that is in jeoeopay from us.s. we w wou strtrivto strtrgthen and ptect the psidency. t ifif tre be no acaccotabilityanotothe president w wilfeel f fe to do as hehoososes b buthe nexeximee there may be nooatchman the nit. >>epublica dennis d lotttt gave the stronge spepeecs ward impeachment. >> thehe lt timeme long series s such p paynts c canngineer by
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mitchell, ldeman, andnd dn, and ter on more. >> we are faced with impching ththe pridenent. >> the line must bdrdrawn didirely to thresident, early to the prededent. this hasot been done. >> b they had not reckon with elizabeth holtzman. >> the president disssssed t matt of f pang hunt 10 separate times ia conversation onon mar 21 1 wi dean n d haeman. in the last time the president discusd d it hsaidid, "that's why for urur immiate thing you hahave n choice with hunt buthe 0 0 or wtever its, right" well, for christ sake, geitit." fofor some people they may find ambiguities in that conversation, i don't. amy: that last boys, elizabeth
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holtzman come the first congress member, barbara jordan. we have leapt forward over half a year to the house judiciary committee and the impeachment hearings. why don't you take us through what happened in october, the saturday night massacre, the president being forced to appoint a new special prosecutor -- said everyone felt he would be covering for president nixon, leon jaworski. explain what happened next with archibald cox's staff still there doing the work. >> well, leon jaworski proved to be quite a tough guy and took his job very seriously. eventually, from a combination of political pressure and legal decisions, nixon was forced to turn over the first group of his secret tapes -- which already demonstrated enormous involvement at least in the watergate cover-up.
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and those tapes were then transmitted by the special prosecutor to the house judiciary committee was considering nixon's impeachment. the committee spent six months conducting its research, hearing from witnesssses, reading documents, and then opened public debate in what we just saw was part of that public debate. amy: explained, especially for young people who don't even know what these tapes were about, that richard nixon himself secretly ordered the taping of the white house and all of the conversations in the oval office? >> yes. he secretly taped himself between february 1971 and july 1973. 1% on his staff, his chief of staff, new about the existence of the taping system. nobody else knew, including his cabinet. and those tapes eventually demonstrated nixonon's direct complicity in the watergate cocover-up andnd led to his ford
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resignation. amy: there was another issue, not only the watergate cover-up, but the burglarizing of daniel ellsberg's psychiatrist's office. >> yes. tong with these many efforts investigate and sabotage the democrats and nixon's democratic opponents, there was a similar effort conducted by many of the same people to investigate, infiltrate, and sabotage the antiwar movement that was opposing the war in vietnam and nixon's policies with regard to the war in vietnam. and daniel ellsberg was one of the targets of those efforts because daniel ellsberg previously come a top adviser to the pentagon with regard to "the newhad leaked to york times" and "the washington post" a secret study of american policy in vietnam that he had been involved in constructing, which demonstrated the american government had frequently lied about vietnam.
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and nixon was outraged, as was henry kissinger, and nixon and kissinger eventually forced an effort to investigate and try to sabotage daniel ellsberg, and that involved a burglary of daniel ellsberg's psychiatrist office. amy: and he was going to face the rest of his life in jail come ellsberg. his trial was going on at this time. >> yes, he was charged with offenses under the espionage act and was facing potential total of over 100 yearars in prison.n. amy: for r releasing the pentatn pages. what was the judge reaction in his trial when he understood what had taken place? result of the investigations by the senate come in the middle of 1973, an enormous number of revelations came out, including those
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pertaining to ellsberg and what nixon and the administration had done to him that included not only burglarizing ellsberg's psychiatrist, but where taping various people involved in antiwar movement, wiretapping various people who were .uspected of leaking john ehrlichman had actually approached the judge in the pentagon papers case and offered him the directorship of the fbi while he was judging the ellsberg trial. and when all of this came out, the judge dismissed a all chargs against ellsberg because the case had been so prejudiced by the administration's behavior. amy: now we moved to the house judiciary committee with barbara jordan, liz holtzman. and what did they do and what did the republicans on the didittee who had -- and how the party shift?
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when did republicans like trent lott get convinced of richard nixon's guilt? >> some republicans stayed loyal end, butuntil the very most of them -- most republicans began to shift after the first group of nixon's tapes were released. and as a result of with the senate watergate committee and later the house judiciary committee's impeachment inquiry had uncovered about nixon's behavior. 1974, thee july of judiciary committee voted on three articles of impeachment, which were approved and which were then going to be referred to the house which would have almost c certainly impeached nixon. groupfore then, a second of tapes w were released just after the impeachment votes a aa result of legal pressure f from the e special prosecutors and a susupremcourt decision. an those tapes shodd nixon
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strongly directly ordering watergatcover-up and engaging in sever abuses of presidential power in order to conceal what his organization hahad be doing. at that point, all of nixon's mamaininrepublic sport sappeare amy: charleserguson,ou have work on thisilm for yea beforehe trumpresidencand ring i it has st been reased. atost surpsed you your resech and wt is mos importt, especlly for ung peop, to understd as we ok at what happeni today? >> ihink onehing tha surpsed me is the gree to ich the scessfulesolutio of wergate sndal depended on the unbelievable courage and commitment and high ethical standards of a relatively small never of people. by what people
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in the media did, by numbers of congress and what they did, by government officials who stood up to president nixon refused to .bey his orders in some cases it was quite remarkable to see the way the government works and people in the media worked. katharine graham, the owner of "the washington post" at the time, she had a spinal cord of .empered steel republicans filed a lawsuit against "the washington post" in an attempt to get access to their sources. and when that happened, the reporters went to the editor, the editor went to mrs. graham, and her response was, the reporters notes are not their notes, they are my notes. if a anybody is going to go to jail, it is going to be me. it is difficult to imagine immediate executive in a
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comparable situation saying that now. i was at the same thing for many government officials, many members of congress. one ordering difference between watergate and now is i think the quality of people in government service and the quality people in congress has climbed sharply, as has by partisanship in congress. amy: charles ferguson, the academy award-winning director. his latest documentary "watergate -- or: how we learned , to stop an out of control president." an interesting side note, the identity of deep throat, the anonymous source for "washington post" watergate reporting, was a mystery to the public for decades. but there was one person who repeatedly publicly asserted that it was in fact the associate director of the fbi during watergate. the person who revealed this? famous screenwriter and author nora from, the ex-wife of carl
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bernstein. she's the film maker by the classic films "when harry met sally" and "silk would."
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